Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'm ticked…however I must exercise “full disclosure”.

Several years ago my son began attending kindergarten in Lorain.  He attended the same elementary school my two daughters attended while the school was run by an exceptional principal in the 90’s.  Our experience with the “new” principal was not so great and I will not name her. I have spoken directly with Mr. Tucker regarding that same principal who is apparently still behaving the same way. Having been “spoiled” by the exceptional principal, we refused to accept the behavior of the principal who replaced her.  After discussing and researching our options we decided to do the unthinkable; take our son out of Lorain City Schools and move him to Horizon Science Academy. Our daughters were very successful in Lorain City Schools and we had very few minor problems for which we are very thankful.  Taking our son out of Lorain’s schools was a very difficult decision but we were not going to allow him to attend a school whose leadership was so abrasive.

We were promised the moon and stars at Horizon.  What we got was a horrible classroom, dangerous building and an administrator who sat in our home for the mandatory “home visit” for over an hour and spoke 2 words.  Hello and goodbye.  I do not believe the man spoke English but was the vice principal.
After 6 weeks of that nonsense, we decided that Mrs. “Rough and Stuff” was better than overcrowded, inexperienced and dangerous.  We decided to “come home”.  We called the school my son had attended before.  They told us we'd have to find another school because his had no room.  We called Charleston and they told us literally to “call around” to find one that would take him.  Thank God we called Toni Morrison Elementary first.

Toni Morrison Elementary School is by far the best school any of my children have attended.  The Principal Megan Young, SFA Facilitator(AKA Vice Principal)Suzanne Silva, teachers and support staff are all incredible.  My son has had classroom contact with most of the teachers there in 4 years and they are all great teachers. We have a brand new building, they communicate with parents, we have an active PTO, very few discipline issues and we have parents who participate in events to the point that we have to separate some of them because the crowds were getting too large.

Why would someone want to leave a teaching environment like that?

Why would a comment on Facebook that says “child’s name has been accepted into Clearview Schools”  get more “Likes” than the same parents’ comment that Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus had been found alive?

Really?  If your child cannot succeed at Toni Morrison Elementary then I'm telling you now, you'll have a hard time anywhere else.

I STRONGLY urge those of you considering fleeing our district to reconsider.  Wait at least until the latest round of OAA test scores are released if academics are the reason.  If there’s a personnel issue, contact Charleston. Don’t stop until you have exhausted every measure you can before making the same wrong decision my wife and I did.  The grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence.

I’m just saying this as a parent now.  Give them a chance, tell them what’s wrong. Call Mr. Tucker’s office and let him know how you feel.  He will listen.

We're starting a Parent Advisory Council in Lorain.  We have got to get more parents involved in their children’s education and we have got to get the disconnect fixed between Charleston and the parents in the district.  The schools cannot do this alone, parents cannot do it alone and Charleston can't do it alone.  We all have to assume our roles in education.  Lookup Parent Advisory Council on Facebook, get involved.  For some of us, it’s going to be a ton of work, but for most of you it’s simple.


  1. I don't think it's right or fair to judge Clearview to a charter school. I too was unhapppy with Lorain City Schools when my son was about to start kindergarten. I also did the unthinkable and pulled him from Lorain when I was given open enrollment into Clearview. All I can say was it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Vincent Elementary is an awesome school with great teachers and staff. Both my son and daughter have done excellent in their productive learning environment.

    I don't think it's fair to compare your experience with a charter school to that of a public school district. I could go on and on and on listing all the great and wonderful things about Clearview, but it's test scores available on the ODE website speak for themselves.

    On another note, I would like to say that I enjoy your blog for the most part. And, I wish you the best on your journey with Lorain City Schools.

  2. Thank you for reading.

    I wasn't actually comparing a charter school to a public school. In my opinion, many charter schools are in it for the money. There are a few, like the Menlo Academy that cater to a specific need and are run well. I was just putting our own "charter school journey" out there so people knew that even my wife and I tried a different school type with our son and hopefully those of you considering a charter look into their operations with an open mind.

    The point I was trying to make with Clearview and the Facebook posting is the announcement that the child was selected to go to Clearview got more "Likes" than the announcement that Amanda Berry and the other girls had been freed. What a terrible testament that is to our schools.

    Clearview may work for you and your child but I also know of a few people who have come back from Clearview to Lorain with their own "horror story".
    I'm not here to bash Clearview either. They have, at the present time, some good OAA scores and I have friends who are perfectly happy there. I do know however that Toni Morrison Elementary, the school my son attends is properly run. Education and discipline are priorities and we have an excellent, caring staff. Again, I will say if you cannot be happy at Toni Morrison I believe you would be hard to please anywhere.

    Thank you again for your response and feel free to comment any time.